XML Page 10

In addition to the scripting frameworks, eXtensible Markup Language (XML) can be used to help orchestrate the migration. XML already plays a major role in data management in and around Web pages. It's a tag-based approach to organizing pages with data, passing data between dissimilar computer systems, and much more -- a complicated subject that we cannot do justice to here. XML is relatively new; its protocols, standards, and tools are still in the process of development and shakeout. However, if you're going to work with Web pages and data, you'll need to add XML knowledge to your toolkit.

If the need for data in your Web pages looks like it will grow substantially, then we recommend using Java (JSP) or .Net (ASP) because it's a safe assumption that in the long term these will be well-supported by major development environments and application servers. At more modest levels of data use, PHP and Perl still offer inexpensive and very effective ways to manage data within the HTML environment.

Also, as you may have noticed, we've piled up at least three different servers (application, Web, and database) in our descriptions. This arrangement becomes complicated very quickly. Management of data is often the heart of Web applications, and as we presumably move into the era of Web services, we'll see more of it.

This article was originally published on Feb 21, 2002

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